Belief in evolution among Republicans has dropped more than 10 percentage points since 2009, according to a new poll by the Pew Research Center.
that is a remarkable drop in just 4 years. while belief (ugh, i really hate hate hate using that word) in evolution has ticked up a couple of points in the population aggregate, for some reason folks that lean right are choosing to abandon the belief in the core science of modern biology.
this is worrisome for multiple reasons. it's one thing when fringe members of society hold mistaken beliefs. it's another when the majority of one of our two governing political parties shares these views. Republicans have real governing authority, as they control more than half of the state legislatures across the country. while Constitutional protections provide some modicum of security, who's to say how long that will be the case?
furthermore, tribalism tends to exaggerate the speed of acceptance of even absurd beliefs. we may reach a tipping point where in order to be a member of said political party one needs to deny evolution. we already see this in Republican members of Congress, where to my knowledge, none of them are willing to acknowledge the scientific veracity of natural selection. while many of their constituents haven't been so willing to admit their batshittery, it seems that may be changing.
while the science has only gotten stronger, through ignorance - willful or otherwise - and blind allegiance to ideology, a bug chunk of our country is becoming less scientifically literate. i can't help but notice that this drastic change also happens to have occurred since the election of Barack Obama. i honestly have no idea what link their might be to this timing, but i find it curious nonetheless. could this be some tribalistic backlash against the Progressive movement in general? a pushback against the cultural elites? or is it just the logical result of a worsening education system/homeschooling trend in rural and southern parts of the country?
regardless, the "Stupid Party" is getting stupider. yet that doesn't make me feel more confident about the future of America.
If you don't believe they are devolving just ask one of them about abortion. Apparently they think women believe this to be cheaper than birth control pills.
or they think taking handfuls of birth control pills will help, at least according to el Rushbo.
I SUBSCRIBE to the theory of evolution ... in the same way that I subscribe to Ohm's Law (which at one time I used almost daily. I KNOW that Ohm's Law works, just like I know that the theory of evolution works.
As for those of God's Own Party who are in denial about either or both the above, I suspect they're so desperate to court the conservative vote that they'll espouse any POV which caters to that mindset. I suppose if you want the stupid vote, you gotta act stupid!
This reality is why I think we should be more vocal, descriptive in our criticism, and more public in our thinking. It feels wonderful to come here and spout off about "Aint it awful" matters, and feel the love here.
However, writing for the believers, jerking their chains, pulling on their puppet strings, just simply has to be done. Yes, I get a lot, I mean a LOT of hate male, privately. But what the heck, we need our perspective in the public domain and we need to develop very strong hides to withstand their shots. Some of us are not able to toughen up, yet, and maybe never will. That doesn't mean that those of us who have studied, observed, and thought about the things we read and hear, and make decisions about the meaning of evidence based information and speak up.
I got a criticism just yesterday that was published on Facebook that made me laugh. The kindly old gentleman has a point of view different from mine and has diagnosed my condition:
"You have convinced me. It is hopeless. Joan, don't ever become president. With your Jeremiad thinking, the pressure would be unbearable. Being aware of the wrongs and injustices of the world does not make them right. I had to learn as a psychologist and therapist that allowing myself to become overwhelmed with the pain and suffering of others prevented me from being helpful. Identifying what is wrong with the world requires less intelligence than beginning to make necessary changes that will improve the lot of the more unfortunate. I learned that reasoning with a depressed person was futile -- they can come up with more and better reasons for being depressed than I can come up with for not being depressed -- this axiom applies to pessimism vs. optimism as well. I try not to be depressed (or pessimistic) out of consideration for the people who care for me, because it is contagious.
"Joan Denoo, thank you for your response. You and I clearly have disagreements and you perceive my comments as coming out of some feature of my thinking that you diagnose as depression and pessimism. One could say that I am a prophet and realist.
"It doesn't matter whether I am depressed, pessimistic, a prophet or a realist, events occur that can be easily documented and support my writings. It does matter that I keep my eye on trends, understand their meanings, and develop ideas of making changes that will lead to a better society, and a better world. I have no respect for flag waving, patriotic enthusiasm for flawed political policies and practices."
Matthew, I enjoy reading and re-reading your comments and links. I get goose bumps, all tingly with hot flashes, not the menopause kind, and think up ways to celebrate the many ways non-believers bring solutions to problems. Of course, that is overstating the reality, but there are enough thinkers who can think in the future tense, imagine possibilities, and love experimentation while working toward a better future. Thanks, dear friend.
Joan, what a kind thing to say. thank you for that much appreciated compliment. i'm just so grateful to have this community to share information and ideas, and for all the wonderful friends i've met since i joined this site.
btw, this was top page headlines on many liberal leaning websites, and nowhere to be found on conservative leaning websites. i find that telling.
Steve Benen has a nice take on this:
Is it any wonder the Republicans are devolving? Just look at their elected leadership and their thought provoking views.
Michele Bachmann and those voices in her head!
"I don't know how much god has to do to get the attention of the politicians. We've had an earthquake; we've had a hurricane. He said, 'Are you going to start listening to me here?' …"
–Rep. Michele Bachmann, suggesting at a presidential campaign event in Florida that the 2011 East Coast earthquake and hurricane was a message from god (Aug. 2011).
Ted Cruz and god shut down the government!
Cruz was asked by David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network if god played a role in Cruz’s government shutdown fight, to which Cruz replied:
"Well, David, you know at every stage, my prayer to god is that His will be done. As it will be."
Sarah Palin on the absolutely Christian country!
"Go back to what our founders and our founding documents meant -- they're quite clear -- that we would create law based on the God of the bible and the Ten Commandments."
-Sarah Palin, arguing that Judeo-Christian belief was the basis for American law and should continue to be used as a guiding force for creating future legislation, interview with Bill O'Reilly, May 6, 2010
(By the way O’Reilly is another pompous, holy ghost inspired author of ‘Killing Jesus”)
John Boehner and GOP have a plan to improve the economy!
“The only way to get our economy going again and solve
our budget problems is to get the economy moving.”
- John Boehner
Mitt Romney stands for something!
"I'm not familiar precisely with what I said, but I'll stand by what I said, whatever it was." —Mitt Romney (May 17, 2012)
Bobby Jindal all for teaching the best ‘science’.!
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal says that he wouldn’t mind if public school students were taught creationism and intelligent design in addition to evolution, as long as it’s “the best science.”
In an interview on NBC, Jindal, a Republican, said: “Bottom line, at the end of the day, we want our kids to be exposed to the best facts. Let’s teach them about the big bang theory, let’s teach them about evolution – I’ve got no problem if a school board, a local school board, says we want to teach our kids about creationism, that people, some people, have these beliefs as well, let’s teach them about ‘intelligent design.’”
He added that students should be allowed to question “controversial issues” like climate change and global warming. “What are we scared of?”
Marcio Rubio to take science class!
GQ: How old do you think the Earth is?
Marco Rubio: I'm not a scientist, man. I can tell you what recorded history says, I can tell you what the Bible says, but I think that's a dispute amongst theologians and I think it has nothing to do with the gross domestic product or economic growth of the United States. I think the age of the universe has zero to do with how our economy is going to grow. I'm not a scientist. I don't think I'm qualified to answer a question like that. At the end of the day, I think there are multiple theories out there on how the universe was created and I think this is a country where people should have the opportunity to teach them all. I think parents should be able to teach their kids what their faith says, what science says. Whether the Earth was created in 7 days, or 7 actual eras, I'm not sure we'll ever be able to answer that. It's one of the great mysteries.
George W. Bush frequently chats with god!
George Bush: 'god told me to end the tyranny in Iraq'
President told Palestinians god also talked to him about…
The Guardian, Thursday 6 October 2005
George Bush believes he is on a mission from god, according to the politician Nabil Shaath.
George Bush has claimed he was on a mission from god when he launched the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, according to a senior Palestinian politician in an interview to be broadcast by the BBC later this month.
Mr Bush revealed the extent of his religious fervour when he met a Palestinian delegation during the Israeli-Palestinian summit at the Egpytian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, four months after the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.
One of the delegates, Nabil Shaath, who was Palestinian foreign minister at the time, said: "President Bush said to all of us: 'I am driven with a mission from god'. God would tell me, 'George go and fight these terrorists in Afghanistan'. And I did. And then god would tell me 'George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq'. And I did."
Rick Perry presidential hopeful!
“Freedom of Religion doesn’t mean freedom from religion”.
As I recall there were two so-called Great Awakenings in America. The first was before the Revolution; the second was in the early 1800s. In both, desperate xians briefly had influence in government. I read that both times they gave up and returned to their churches
Before the 1964 Goldwater disaster, I was occasionally able to vote for moderate Republicans. In 1965 when LBJ sent large numbers of troops to Viet Nam, I gave up on both parties and voted only on ballot propositions.
In 1974, upset about the corruption I saw, I ran as a moderate in a Republican primary. I lost to the incumbent and a party leader told me I was in the wrong party.
I believed her, re-registered Democrat and became active. When Reagan invited the evangelicals into the Party I knew would not again vote Republican.
I'm wondering if the present captivity of the Republican Party by desperate, even crazed, xians will someday be known as the Third Great Awakening.
What strikes me about xianity is how effectively it produces people who feel helpless, who believe that praying to their imagined all-powerful deity will save them.
They seem to believe their leaders, their political leaders like those that Gene Sokolowski cites here and their religious leaders like those who give us their crazed explanations for events.
What I have long believed is that when one major party goes bad, the other major party follows.
I'm encouraged that younger voters are turning away from the Republican Party's near-insanity.
I'm encouraged too that non-believers -- however we identify ourselves -- are becoming a significant minority.